Edith Britton – Movie Analysis
Straight Outta Compton, 2015
Straight Outta Compton is a drama/documentary film that was released in theaters in 2015 and was directed by F. Gary Gary. It’s the story of the movies producers Dr. Dre, and DJ Yella, rappers MC Ren, Ice Cube, and Eazy-E (played, in order, by: Corey Hawkins, Neil Brown Jr., Aldis Hodge, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Jason Mitchell). Also shown in the film is the tumultuous relationship with their manager Jerry Heller played by Paul Giamatti. The movie ends with the disbandment of the group and the untimely death of member Eazy- E, who contracted the HIV virus.
The five of them made up the legendary and controversial group N.W.A “Niggaz Wit Attitudes”, who rebelled against the police on stage after enduring years of getting racially profiled and assaulted by them. Their outcry against the police was a public statement that connected with communities similar to their own. One of the most widely known stories of police brutality, is a video that showed African American, Rodney King being beaten in the hands of police officers, resulted in riots erupting in South Central, Los Angeles a year after a predominantly white jury found the police not-guilty in 1992.
The impact of the films release saw many people using the title “Straight Outta Compton” slogan as a badge of pride for the communities they come from, just as N.W.A represents every aspect of who they are and where they came from without shame. The name resonates with the film completely because the trials and tribulations the characters go through is a testament to their strength that they learned from the tough streets in Compton. However as most internment memes that become popular, many parodies and jokes where made from it as well, but none without connection to the person it’s making fun of.
Straight Outta Compton memes
Straight Outta Compton is the story of the member who made up the legendary rap group N.W.A in Compton a neighborhood in California, and how they used their immense talent as a way to get out of the neighborhood and environment that was perpetually keeping them down. It begins with showing and in depth look at who these individuals are and where they’re coming from. The film highlights the intense divide between the Police and the African American population they are meant to be protecting. Because of bias and assumptions, the members of the community are met with unprovoked hostility and aggression. Music proves to be their means of escape from this.
In the movie Ice Cube is played by his real life son. The resemblance between the two of them is uncanny. One screen that really stood out to me was towards the end, Ice Cube is with his wife and they’re in the living room and the television is on. As he’s watching the TV, the screen then shows an interview with Ice Cube. He’s watching “himself” on the TV being interviewed with his wife. What I found to be an interesting stylistic approach was the filmmakers and producers choice to use the actually footage from the mid-80s of the real Ice Cube juxtaposed with his son playing him. It made the events being expressed in the movie have a more authentic tone because of the eerily resemblance the two men have and the different types of video format from the TV of the real-life interview being showed.
The events in the movie already happened so the movie doesn’t have any loose ends or ambiguities. I was already a bit knowledgeable about the history that this movie was telling.
In our class discussions we’ve talked about feminism and how woman are viewed in a hyper sexualized way that seems to escape many men. When this movie came out there were articles about the treatment of woman in the movie.
Misogyny in Straight Outta Compton article:
Of course that genre has a reputation, especially during that era of being misogynistic towards woman. But that can be said for all music genres that involve a male superstar. Its apart of the territory that I appreciate the movie wasn’t afraid to show no matter how grisly the topic. The hotel party scene where we see numerous groupies drinking, having sex, doing drugs with the guys and their crew within every corner of the hotel room, not concerned with privacy was as important to show as Eazy-E dying in his hospital bed. You can’t take one out and tell the story – it would loose some validity to the message the film is trying to send.
I mentioned Straight Outta Compton in a response about the Oscars, because it was in the middle of the debate of #blackactorsmatter. The film, despite its success received only one nomination from the academy, for best screenplay. This brings along the questions about the gatekeepers and the kind of society we live in. The FACT that this is HISTORY upsets many, but when was history concerned with the opinions of others who weren’t there to experience it. The topics, language and images in the film may be hard to digest for some but that doesn’t mean it never happened and should be ignored. They’re one of the most successful groups in the Hip-Hop /Rap culture and paved the way for many following in their footsteps. To think after watching the film that other artists of all races and cultures have not been influenced by them, is inaccurate. We can see from their style and the stand they took against the police, as benchmarks for this.
Biography.com. The Biography.com website. Rodney King Biography. A&E Television Networks. n/a. Web. May 20, 2016